Recently, I heard a preacher’s sermon. There’s one thing he said I can’t get out of my head. He said we should not fear the devil but we should respect him. It’s the respect part that bothers me. I always associated respect with admiration. Could you please share your thoughts? Thank you in advance! Sebastien B.
The Bible tells us in I Peter 5:8: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking who he may devour.” And in Jude verse 9 we are told: “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”
If as powerful a being as Michael the Archangel deferred to the Lord in dealing with Satan, we should do the same. We are not told to rebuke the devil, but rather to resist him: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” — James 4:7. It is in the power of God that we are able to resist and overcome the devil.
In Acts 19 the Apostle Paul was in Ephesus for two years teaching the word of the Lord and we are told in verses 12 and 13: “… God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.” Verses 13 – 17 of that same chapter tells us: “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.”
So, we should not admire Satan, but we should not underestimate him.